scouts-l Mail Archive for March of 2000: meeting planning concern
Jason Cruse (jcruse@SOCKET.NET
Wed Mar 15 2000 - 21:37:03 CST
My troop is having some problems, and I would like input from the list.
Off-list replies, as always, are most appropriate.
Letme spell out the conditions in our troop:
1) 13 boys, oldest is 15, youngest is 11.
2) Highest rank: Life, but not active. Highest active rank: 2 Star, 4
First Class, and down from there.
3) Leadership: SPL is 12, and First Class. ASPL is 14, and T-Foot. PL of
one patrol quit tonight--says he's not interested in scouts anymore. PL of
other patrol is First Class...and on his second stint in the troop. He
is...um...acting much better this time around. Other older boys have no
interest in leadership (and hence won't be advancing any time soon, either).
4) Training: we have troop JLT every six months. No boy has wanted to be
SPL for more than one term. One boy has attended council JLT--appears to be
LESS interested in leading now than before. Three are scheduled to attend
5) PLCs: they are planned, and the boys attend. Leaders explain to them
what needs to be done. Boys do a less than adequate job in PLC selecting
6) Meetings: first half hour is okay. Older set of boys, regardless of
how many or whch patrols they are in, prefer to goof around with each other.
This usually degenerates into some form of WWF. Younger boys,
understandably, are getting little out of the meetings.
7) Attitudes: older boys actually have a decent attitude about
attending...don't attend many activities or campouts. But they still
recruit friends...and the friends are marginally interested until the
"old-timer" boys are such a distraction that the friends stop coming.
Younger boys are frustrated, or get drawn into the horseplay.
As I see it, we have two main problems: a leadership vacuum and no interest
in scouting activities. Older boys have no interest in venturing. Little
interest in anything. If something "different" is proposed, they will try
it...for a few minutes. Then they revert to wrestling.
It does not appear to matter who, or how old, the SPL is...he is unable to
lead or get anything accomplished. The older group thinks its funny to
screw up the program, regardless of who leads, even when they themselves try
I'm not at all sure that I'm explaining this well, unless, of course,
frustration is the point. Clearly, the belief of letting the PLC run the
show, make mistakes, and so forth, is no longer relevant. That plan, of
course, works--when the PLC is interested in learning. This problem is not
new--it is old in our troop. We have tried multiple combinations of boys in
patrols and PLs and SPLs... each has been more interested in screwing up
the new leader...and fighting and wrestling...than working on
anything--whether it is advancement-related or not.
To be honest, I don't know why some of them come. Neither do they. All
they can say is that it is "fun"...but can't pick anything scouting that